We’ve talked about how whale poop and leech stomachs are helping us learn more about this planet, but how can bird vomit do the same?

Sure, it sounds unsavory, but sometimes the coolest science comes from some less than pretty places! Stay with us now. This could be fascinating!

The Barking Owl or Winking Owl is a nocturnal bird species native to mainland Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea. The presence of these owls is usually revealed by their barking calls.

Source: Julie Edgley // Flickr

So, let’s dive in.

Over the past two centuries, Australia has seen a drastic decrease in its small mammal species. Because there is very little written historical record of what species density once looked like, it’s difficult for scientists so discern the extent of species die off and what populations used to look like.

Here is where the bird vomit comes in.

Some bird species, raptors, and most notably owls regurgitate pellets consisting of difficult to digest parts of their prey like bones, teeth, and fur. Over time in caves and other sheltered dwellings, these pellets have amassed to create a record of sorts of the types of small mammal species that one inhabited the region around it. It’s actually quite a remarkable process!

For more on this incredible example of investigative biology, we turn to one of our favorite YouTube channels which is completely worth checking out, The Brain Scoop

Beyond the bird vomit…

So there you have it, that is how bird vomit is helping us learn more about this planet!

To me, it’s still an amazing world because the planet we call home is filled with a natural world from which we can constantly learn and grow. There is never, and probably never will be an end to the incredible discoveries we can make about Earth and it’s inhabitants. There is wonder and awe and inspiration in every one of our backyards. It is up to us, though, to recognize and celebrate it!

Be the one who sees beauty in the little–and maybe kinda gross–things, it actually makes the world a much more fascinating place.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

Want to learn more about the amazing natural world?

We have an entire category dedicated to the fantastic creatures of this planet! Click below to check it out!

ANIMALS AT EWC

We have an enormous archive to explore that spans scienceto spaceto art, and beyond! The best way to jump in is to try out our “Surprise Me!” button. It will randomly take you to any one of our great articles and you can explore from there! You experience this by clicking the button in the sidebar or on the link above!
You can join us on our mission to prove that it’s still an amazing world by supporting us on Patreon, where you can also get access to exclusive content. If that isn’t your style, you can help by reading and sharing our content with friends and family. The more eyeballs you can help us reach, the more positivity we can all spread together. Thanks for stopping by today!

SUPPORT US ON PATREON!       CHECK OUT OUR LIBRARY!

 

Notes:

  1. “How Bird Vomit Helps Us Understand History.” YouTube. The Brain Scoop, 03 Nov. 2016. Web. 03 Nov. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=LZ2KGhtDyBk>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

In this Circle

Need to Solve a Problem? Turn to Nature!

7 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

The natural world is a remarkable problem solver. So, why aren't we turning to nature to find more answers to our complex problems? Here's how biomimicry is helping us build a better future!
Read More

Artificial Intelligence Meets Black Soldier Flies and Farming!

15 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

When it comes to saving the resources of our planet, we are all hoping for the next big idea to come along. Well, this one involves a very tiny creature that brings an amazing resume to the task. Let's meet them!
Read More

Here’s How Seizure Detecting Dogs are Changing People’s Lives

11 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Can dogs really be life-savers? Meet the dogs that are helping their owners detect seizures up to 45 minutes before they occur! It's a fascinating story. These pups are making life safer and easier for people who suffer from seizures.
Read More

Meet the Planet’s Most Remarkable Engineers

7 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Imagine a world of natural air conditioning, vertical farming, and sky scrapers that rival our tallest buildings. You don't have to travel to the future to see any of this, all you have to do is turn to the insect world!
Read More

A Second Chance for Abandoned Animals and Inmates

11 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Here's a great example of the kinds of stories the nightly news could be bringing us, instead of all the doom and gloom. Another thought-leaders - the Monroe County Jail - teaches us about possibility.
Read More

Sheepdogs: the Brilliant Relationship of Man and Dog

24 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

The relationship between man and dog is a unique part of our shared evolutionary history. Here's a look at beautiful way they continue to fit into that history from many perspectives...
Read More

Replacing DEET with Ducks?

5 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

With help from our friends, we could waddle our way into a healthier future! Lets see how this is happening in parts of our world today...
Read More

Say Hello Best Way to Get Around in the Snow

15 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Think you know all you need to know about dog sledding? Our relationship with these pups has altered history and has been one of the most unfailing and versatile forms of transportation for thousands of years. Here are a few fascinating stories...
Read More

The Planet’s Unsung Hero, the Dung Beetle

11 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

There's a remarkable reason why there is not dung everywhere in our world. Think about it: the multitudes of creatures on this planet produce a lot of waste! So, what happens to all of it? Well, let us introduce you to one of the planet's greatest unsung heroes, the dung beetle! Get ready to be astonished.
Read More

Unearthing the DNA of the Jungle with Leeches

7 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

How can leeches help biologist study remote ecosystems? It turns out researchers can use these often overlooked creatures to learn about species hidden from view! Here's the fascinating story.
Read More

Using Bird Vomit to Uncover History!

9 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

How can owl pellets help us make conservation decisions? It turns out a little bit of gross science can have a big impact! And it's actually pretty cool!
Read More

You Should Really Thank the Fruit Flies

6 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Would you believe that your genes are super similar to a fruit fly's? They've been helping us discover our own bodies for years, here's how...
Read More

What Ants Can Teach Us About Problem-Solving

18 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Did you know that there is FAR more to the ant/human relationship than painful bites? Turns out, weaver ants have been used for centuries to help farmers protect their crops! And better yet, these remarkable problem-solvers have some tips that can teach us all about our own lives.
Read More

How a Tiny Creature Makes Us Ask Better Questions…

6 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

The jerboa may look like the tiny rodent cousin of the t-rex, but the skeletons of these strange creatures are helping us answer questions with major implications in medicine.
Read More

So, What’s a Food Forest?

22 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

There's something growing on the South Coast of New Zealand that could change our lives. Check it out!
Read More

Explore Joy, Wonder, and Insight in an Unexpected Package: Goats!

17 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Let's get to know an animal with fascinating adaptations for survival and 10,000-year history beside us! We're going to investigate the world of these split-hooved, 280-degree peering creatures. Join us for a pajama party, a look into what makes a goat a living marvel, and how they can help us innovate!
Read More

Meet the Rescue Dogs Saving the Environment!

7 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Rescue dogs are now becoming conservation superheroes too! Meet the pups getting a new life at the forefront of saving ecosystems, anti-poaching, and amazing conservation efforts.
Read More